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Sheena Bora murder mystery: A never ending saga

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On 25 August 2015, Indrani Mukerjea was arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with the alleged murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora, in 2012. She was charged under sections 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. It’s almost six months of her arrest, many theories have erupted and many have been arrested after that. Police claimed that they have evidences with regards to the murder and Indrani also went through ‘media trials’ too, yet there is nothing concrete in this case, except stories after stories, theories after theories. Indrani had, earlier, moved the sessions’ court seeking bail on medical grounds. Again with her 17-page bail plea, Indrani has moved the court and said that her medical condition was deteriorating and she was suffering from frequent blackouts. An annexure of medical reports that ran into 50 pages further states that Indrani is suffering from a life threatening disorder and it may lead to brain stroke. The court had extended judicial custody of Indrani Mukherjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai till February 12.

In the plea which has been moved through Indrani’s lawyer, the former media executive said that her medical condition is deteriorating and she has lost 18 kilograms in four months. She further wrote in the application that she wants to live in a stress-free environment. She (Indrani) is suffering from ‘chronic small vessels ischemic changes’ and is life threatening.

In the application, Indrani said that it takes around 45-60 minutes to reach hospital from Byculla women’s prison (where she is presently lodged now). Citing an instance, she said that in October last year when she fell unconscious, it took more than six hours to commence treatment on her. On October 2, 2015, Indrani had become unconscious at 5 am but was treated at 11:45 am.

CBI, while maintaining that financial transaction was the motive behind the murder of Sheena, had earlier said that Peter, during his interrogation, disclosed investments of crores of rupees made by him and Indrani and is expecting information from Interpol on the details of an account opened by Indrani in a bank in Hong Kong. Indrani’s present husband Peter Mukerjea, the former CEO of Star India, was also arrested in the case earlier.

For months preceding the arrests, Mumbai police had kept Indrani under surveillance. The surveillance was initiated after a tip-off from an informant that Indrani was involved in the disappearance of her daughter, Sheena. On August 26, 2015, Mikhail Bora, Sheena’s brother, revealed that Sheena was Indrani’s daughter and not sister.

On 23 May 2012, Raigad police found a body at the crime spot after villagers complained of a foul odour. Police were unable to identify the body and sent the skeletal remains to JJ Hospital in Mumbai. Sheena Bora’s disappearance and murder and the disposal of her body went unreported for 40 months until August, 2015, and the skeletal remains found in Pen tehsil, Raigad were not linked with Sheena Bora’s case.

Quoting the First Information Report filed by Mumbai police, driver of Indrani Mukerjea, Shyamvar Pinturam Rai gave a statement to the police that the murder was planned by Indrani, who in turn had discussed the plan with her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna. Allegedly, Indrani had done a Reconnaissance of the dumping ground the evening before the murder. On 24 April 2012, Khanna had flown to Mumbai and checked into the Hotel Hilltop at Worli. Indrani allegedly had rented an Opel Corsa for the abduction and killed her and disposed the body. Indrani had earlier asked Sheena to meet her on the evening of 24 April 2012. Although Sheena was reluctant, she agreed. That evening, Indrani picked up her ex-husband from his hotel in Worli. Sheena was dropped off about 1900 hours by Rahul Mukerjea near National College on Linking Road at Bandra, where she met Indrani, Sanjeev and driver Shyamvar Rai.

The car was being driven by Rai with Indrani sitting next to him. Sheena sat in the rear seat with Khanna. Sheena was taken to one of the by-lanes in Bandra where Khanna allegedly strangled her. Police said that after the murder, Sheena’s body was taken to Indrani’s house in Worli where it was put in a bag and stuffed in the boot of the car. Khanna later left for his hotel while Indrani stayed home and Rai slept inside the car with the body in the boot. The same night (the early morning of 25 April 2012), the three accused drove to the village of Gagode in Pen tehsil, Raigad. They allegedly wanted to avoid police checks on the highway and hence, to make it appear Sheena was sleeping, propped the body between Indrani and Khanna on the rear seat rather than putting it in the boot. At 0400 on 25 April 2012, the accused dragged the body out of the car in an isolated spot in the forest, stuffed it in the bag, poured petrol over the bag and set it ablaze. After the body was completely burnt, the accused returned to Mumbai. Khanna later that day left Mumbai.

In August 2015, Peter was questioned. He submitted a written statement to the police that was prepared in conjunction with his lawyer. His passport provided evidence that he was in Rome at the time of the murder in April, 2012. In November 2015, Peter was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 34 (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating and forgery), 364 (kidnapping) and 120-B (conspiracy). He was kept in CBI custody for two weeks during which period, he subjected to a polygraph test with his consent and in the presence of his lawyer. In December 2015, Peter was remanded to judicial custody in Arthur Road Jail. CBI officials were granted multiple extensions to his judicial custody based on their contention that Peter and Indrani Mukerjea siphoned off money from INX Media and parked it in an offshore bank account in Sheena Bora’s name.


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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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